At least fifty fighters of Nigeria’s terrorists group Boko Haram were killed during an overnight clash in the southeast of neighboring Niger, the government said on Monday.
The defence ministery said armed Boko Haram terrorists riding around 20 vehicles assaulted a military post in Toummour, in the restive Diffa area.
The attackers were repulsed in an “spontaneous riposte”, the ministry stated, giving a provisional casualty toll of one soldier injured and 50 Boko Haram fighters killed.
Reinforcement from the Special Intervention Battalion joined the pursuit to the shores of Lake Chad, the statement said. It included “several suspects” were captured alongside two vehicles and weapons.
The region adjoining Nigeria and Chad has more than once endured assaults since 2015 by Boko Haram, which has bases hidden in the vast Lake Chad area, where the borders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria converge.
They had died down since before the end of last year, but on March 7, Boko Haram fighters, also aboard around 20 vehicles, launched raided another army position, in Chetima Wango, leaving eight soldiers dead and three missing.
State radio said there were three successive clashes and that vehicles that had managed to cross the border into Nigeria were “almost all neutralised” via air strikes by a joint multinational force of Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon.
The Diffa region is home to 120,000 refugees from Nigeria fleeing the Boko Haram violence, just as 110,000 people internally displaced within Niger, as per UN data released in October.
On Sunday, suspected members of Boko Haram ambushed Nigerian soldiers in the Banki area of Borno State, also next to the Niger border, killing six soldiers.